Highlights from Cincinnati basketball’s press conference

A few members of the Cincinnati basketball program spoke at the podium prior to their practice on Thursday.

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Highlights from Cincinnati basketball’s press conference

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin calls a play from the sideline against the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Cincinnati won the game 64-60.

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin calls a play from the sideline against the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Cincinnati won the game 64-60.

Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin calls a play from the sideline against the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Cincinnati won the game 64-60.

Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS

Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin calls a play from the sideline against the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Cincinnati won the game 64-60.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, along with forward Tre Scott, and guards Cane Broome and Justin Jenifer, answered questions before their open practice at the NCAA Tournament Thursday ahead of the Bearcats’ first-round battle with Iowa on Friday.

Jenifer on matching up with Iowa’s backcourt:

“Following the scouting report. We always go in and come together as a team, and we follow the scouting report. We feel if we follow the scouting report and have Bearcat toughness, we can get the win. That’s what we did when we played against Houston. If we play just like we did against Houston and we keep that going, we can’t be stopped.”

Jenifer on being close to Cincinnati:

“It’s the same. Basically like a home game. We call it – when they say, we was in Columbus we called it backyard basketball. Just having all the fans wanting to come and support us is going to be a great atmosphere, great energy for the game.”

Cronin on Iowa’s size:

“We’re not in a sumo wrestling match, so I think how the game is called is big, important. I think footwork is important. I think you’ve got to play smart. I think the games are usually called a little tighter starting today. And the games got real physical in conference play in February. So what we’ve talked about is making sure we don’t pick up cheap fouls battling for offensive or defensive position in the low post, regardless of who they’re battling against, whether it’s Cook or Garza, whomever because I think it will be a little different. I don’t think it will be quite the way conference games tend to get real physical late in the year. I think it will get back to more free-flowing.”

Cronin on balancing offensive rebounding with Iowa’s transition:

“We would never change that. I get asked that a lot by younger coaches and people that talk about, what’s your theory on transition defense? It’s called get back. There’s a lot better coaches than me, and they rebound two guys and they run to certain spots. I worked for – Coach [Bob] Huggins will be in the Hall of Fame and Rick Pitino. We rebound the ball, obviously your point guard gets back. But with Iowa, I think the biggest key is to find shooters early… But we will not not rebound because of that. But people do try to score on us. We’re used to people trying to score on us in transition because our half-court defense can give people problems at times and it’s tended to be pretty good, so we’re used to that.”

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